"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

30 June 2016


INTERVIEWER:  Is the important thing that ogham was preclassical?

ROBERT GRAVES:  That's right. Before Plato. Before the Greeks went wrong. You know, the Jews had a saying—“of the ten measures of folly the Greeks have nine.” They were all right until about the sixth century B.C. By the time of Alexander the Great they'd gone to pieces altogether.

INTERVIEWER: In what way?

GRAVES:  They tried to decry myth. They tried to put in its place what we would now call scientific concepts. They tried to give it a literal explanation. Socrates jokes about myths, and Horace makes fun of them. When put to it, Socrates could clarify a myth in a way that deprived it of all sense. They simply had no use for poetic thought. Logic works at a very high level in consciousness. The academic never goes to sleep logically, he always stays awake. By doing so, he deprives himself of sleep. And he misses the whole thing, you see. Sleep has seven levels, topmost of which is the poetic trance—in it you still have access to conscious thought while keeping in touch with dream . . . with the topmost fragments of dream . . . you own memory . . . pictorial imagery as children know it and as it was known to primitive man. No poem is worth anything unless it starts from a poetic trance, out of which you can be wakened by interruption as from a dream. In fact, it is the same thing.

INTERVIEWER:  But where does this itself come from?

GRAVES:  From yourself, under the direction of the more-than-you formed by your relation with the person with whom you are in rapport at the time. If anybody were really observant, he'd be able to take a poem and draw a picture of the person it was addressed to.

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